conservationist | geographer | innovator | educator | birder



I believe that conservation needs vision – imaginings of futures that we can collectively aspire to create. I work up visions that blend emerging trends in science, technology and society with a sense of confidence, innovation and hope.


I design solutions that are situated – solutions that emerge from an understanding of the cultural assets and political realties of a place interacting with cutting-edge insight from interdisciplinary conservation science.


I engage with current debates within in conservation – through my writing, teaching and convening, I aim to stimulate and support an open, constructive and forward-looking dialogue between the values, ideologies and interest groups that make up our dynamic conservation movement.

Areas of Focus


In 2005 I travelled to Holland with my students to visit rewilding sites and meet with the radical Dutch conservationist involved. I was blown away and have been teaching, debating and writing about rewilding ever since. i am now active in efforts to create the policy space for rewilding to act.

New Technologies Forces

I generate creative ideas and tools to explore the transformative potential of new technological forces for conservation science and practice. These range from radial thought pieces such as opti-hunting to e-decision support designed to strengthen the environmental governance of capital markets. Together which Richard Ladle I defined the new research field of Conservation Culturomics.

Protected Area Policy

Earlier in my a career I specialised in the early phases of a reserve establishment working in the UK, Indonesia and Indochina. I did my doctorate on protected area policy and maintain an active research and teaching interest. I am developing a new PA asset framework to restate the policy case for PA and contrasting my Asian experience with work in Brazil.

Science-Policy Communication

I enjoy science communication and between 2009-2014 led this component of an EU freshwater biodiversity project. We launched the successful freshwater blog, developed a cutting-edge knowledge hub and experimented with art-science videos. Recently I have been researching the public acceptability of tree-breeding solution to ash dieback Through such activities I engage with theory on the design of effective interfaces between science, policy and publics.

Education and Dialogue

I am committed to educating and empowering a new generation of conservation professionals. In my role as MSc course director I have developed and delivered syllabuses, workshops and fieldtrips that promote critical and innovative thinking at the interface of the natural and social science and theory and practice. I also convene one-off events and symposia on emerging or topical themes.

Governing Wildlife Trade

When I led the BirdLife Indonesia programme in the 1990s I came to understand the bird trade from the perspectives of western conservationists, government management agencies, local people and traders. I have worked with local stakeholders to develop culturally-attuned approaches to governing wildlife trade and I regularly contribute to debates in this highly politicized arena of conservation policy.



The changing face of British bird watching

The face of British bird watching is undergoing a transformation: in the last decade telescope carrying birders have been joined by growing numbers of long-lens bird photographers. A new era of British birdwatching may be upon us. Birding is a mode of bird watching characterized by a focus on bird-finding, identification and listing. It emerged

Photo: Paul Jepson

Rewilding and the uplands: perspectives on valuing nature

This is the text of a lecture I delivered in the Valuing Nature Keynote lecture series in London on 22 September 2016 —————————————————- Helen Meach, CEO of Rewilding Britain started a recent article in Ecos with the statement: “Britain is one of the most ecologically depleted nations on Earth”. Given the interplay between ecology, landscape


Investing in Rio State’s protected area assets: a short series of blogs

To coincide with the Rio Olympics we have posted a short series of blogs to reflect on and discuss the future of Rio State’s fabulous state parks. Nature, wildlife and parks are central to Rio’s identity internationally and within Brazil: the iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer watches over the people of Rio de Janeiro

Paul in Action


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